What's the used Fiat 500 hatchback like?
The modern Fiat 500 reinvents one of the most iconic cars of the late 1950s and 1960s, in much the same way that BMW did with the Mini. Cute styling, a vibrant personality and lots of kerb appeal have made it a surefire hit on both the new and the used car market.
The 2020 facelift brought in a 1.0-litre mild-hybrid engine. You can’t plug it in, and it can’t travel on electric power alone. Instead, the naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has a tiny electric motor and a minuscule lithium-ion battery to help share the effort. There's also a 68bhp 1.2 petrol engine that's available exclusively with an automatic gearbox.
Basically, there are three trim levels to choose from: Pop, Popstar and Lounge. In later models, Sport replaced Popstar. The entry-level Pop models come with LED day-running-lights, Fiat's Uconnect infotainment system with USB connectivity, and height-adjustable steering wheel, while upgrading to the limelight and the Pop Star trim will see the additions of air conditioning and rear splitting seats. The range-topping Lounge models come with luxuries such as a fixed panel glass roof, rear parking sensors, fog lights, a DAB radio and Bluetooth all included as standard.
The Abarth models are a slightly different breed and, as you might expect, come with all the sporting pretensions expected from a hot-hatch-cum-track-day-special.
The Twinair engine is a bit of a mixed bag, providing character but needing to be revved and therefore becoming rather thirsty and noisy. The 1.2 is our favourite mix of punch and economy, while the diesel unit feels a little heavy in the pert 500. The later hybrid feels pretty much like the regular 1.2 on the road, with no noticeable gains in performance.
The modern 500 is bigger than the original, but it's still very compact by today's standards. There's good passenger space in the front, but the back is cramped for adults. The boot isn't great, either; it's bigger than that of the Mini but nowhere near as good as the Volkswagen Up's. That car is also more practical in other ways, too, because it's also produced in five-door form.
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